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Famous Golf Holes: Postage Stamp at Royal Troon

8th Hole - Old Course

Postage Stamp 8th Hole at Royal Troon

Postage Stamp at Royal Troon

Royal Troon's 8th hole, the "Postage Stamp," is one of the most iconic and intimidating short holes in golf. Measuring a mere 123 yards, it demands absolute precision due to its minuscule green. This green is fiercely protected by cavernous bunkers, punishing rough, and the ever-present coastal winds.

Playing the Postage Stamp is an exercise in nerve and shot-making. Finding the green itself is a victory, especially when the wind swirls off the Firth of Clyde. Par is a cherished score, while bogeys and worse are easily made when focus falters. From the elevated tee, players must summon unwavering courage and unwavering commitment, or else face the consequences of this legendary test.

❝The Postage Stamp is a perfect example of how you can challenge the best players in the world.❞
Phil Mickelson

❝The Postage Stamp is great architecture.❞
Paul McGinley

❝The variation in score, the chance of a double bogey or a birdie, right there, just a millimetre difference.❞
Paul Casey

❝If you're the kind of fan that wants to see carnage I can highly recommend going out to that 8th hole and sitting in that grandstand on a difficult day.❞
Henrik Stenson

Famous Moments on The Postage Stamp during The Open

Gene Sarazen at The Open at Royal Troon

Gene Sarazen's Ace


In his final Open appearance, the legendary Gene Sarazen achieved the unthinkable: a hole-in-one on the Postage Stamp. His perfect tee shot bounced a few times before rolling majestically into the cup, cementing his name in Open Championship lore.

Ernie Els at The Open at Royal Troon

Ernie Els' Hole-in-One


Ernie Els, the "Big Easy," produced his own magic on the Postage Stamp in 2004. With a well-struck shot and bit of backspin, he also aced the hole, sending the crowd into a frenzy and further elevating the hole's iconic status.

Colin Montgomerie's Troubles


Colin Montgomerie, a Scottish favorite, suffered heartbreak on the Postage Stamp during the 1997 Open. Leading the tournament, he found a deep bunker with his tee shot. His subsequent struggles led to a costly triple-bogey, dashing his hopes of winning the Claret Jug on home soil.

How to play the Postage Stamp at Royal Troon

Sam Brooks Famous Holes

Club Selection:
• Err on the side of more club: The small green makes distance control paramount. Take an extra club to accommodate for adrenaline and the often-present wind.

• Factor in the wind: Assess the wind direction and strength carefully before choosing your club. A headwind might demand two clubs more; a tailwind, one less.

Aim and Execution:
• Forget the pin: Aiming for the center of the green is usually the safest play. Even if your shot isn't pin-seeking, being on the green drastically reduces the risk of a big number.

• Commit to your shot: Once you've selected a line and club, commit fully and hit a confident shot. Indecision leads to errors on this demanding hole.

• Accept a good miss: Sometimes, even a well-struck shot with proper planning might end up short, long, or in a bunker. Accept that par is still very possible with a good recovery shot.

Mental Approach:
• Embrace the challenge: The Postage Stamp is as intimidating as it is beautiful. Enjoy the moment and relish the test.

• Stay positive: Don't fear bunkers or rough. Remember, even the pros struggle on this hole. Focus on making solid contact.

Additional Tips:
• Practice similar shots: Work on hitting knock-down shots that stay low and controlled before your round. These can be invaluable in windy conditions.

• Visualize your shot: Before you get to the tee, picture yourself hitting a successful shot on the Postage Stamp.

Remember, have fun and soak in the experience of playing one of the most legendary golf holes in the world!

Postage Stamp Statistics

The Postage Stamp historically plays well over par during Open Championship. In 2004, for example, the average score was 3.09. Big numbers are common here, even for the world's best.

Par 3 | 114–123 yards (shortest in Open Championship golf)
5 bunkers | Stroke Index: 18

Henrik Stenson played the Postage Stamp exceptionally well during his record-breaking Open Championship win at Royal Troon in 2016.

Here's how he scored on the hole in each round:
Round 1: Par (3)
Round 2: Par (3)
Round 3: Par (3)
Round 4: Birdie (2)

His birdie in the final round was particularly memorable.

Royal Troon Golf Club - Postage Stamp - 2016 Open Championship Venue

A Look Back at the Open Championship at Royal Troon

Royal Troon has played host to some of the most thrilling moments in Open Championship history. From record-breaking scores to unexpected champions, the Ayrshire links has provided a demanding yet rewarding test for the world's best golfers.

In 2016, Henrik Stenson etched his name in golfing history. After a captivating final round battle against Phil Mickelson, Stenson emerged victorious with a score of 20-under-par, shattering the previous record for the lowest score in a major championship. This feat was even more impressive considering the iconic "Duel in the Sun" between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus, which took place at Royal Troon in 1977, is often considered one of the greatest major championship battles ever played.

Royal Troon has also witnessed its fair share of upsets. In 2004, Todd Hamilton, playing most of his golf in Japan with no prior PGA Tour wins, stunned the golfing world by defeating the heavily favored Ernie Els in a playoff. Els missed a crucial birdie putt on the 18th hole that would have secured him the victory, leaving the door open for Hamilton's dramatic tap-in for the championship.

Comebacks have also played a part in the rich tapestry of Open Championships at Royal Troon. In 1997, Justin Leonard mounted a thrilling comeback to capture the Claret Jug. Overcoming strong challenges from Darren Clarke and Jesper Parnevik, Leonard's emotional victory highlighted the resilience needed to conquer the demanding Royal Troon course.

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